By Shumaila Andleeb
ISLAMABAD, Aug 17 (APP):Imran Khan, the former cricket hero who rose to shine winning the cricket World Cup title for Pakistan in 1992, is now the country’s new Prime Minister-elect and is all set to take oath of his office on Saturday.
Imran, 65, once popular for his exceptional fast bowling and great all-rounding talent, has recently made a mark at the political pitch, with his party Tehreek-e-Insaf bagging majority seats in general election 2018.
Imran Khan’s political journey spanning over two decades bears several highs and lows. The party that failed to win any seat in 1997 elections and later won a single seat in 2002 polls, has gained a foothold in 2018 with 158 seats in the 342-member National Assembly. The phoenix has finally risen from the ashes.
Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi was born in 1952 in Mianwali to Ikramullah Khan Niazi and Shaukat Khanum (Burki). Though his parents got settled in Lahore during his childhood, Imran Khan takes pride of his background as the descendant of Pashtun (Pathan) Niazi tribe of the Shermankhel clan, as per his autobiography ‘Warrior Race: A Journey Through the Land of the Tribal Pathans’.
Being the only son to his parents along with four sisters, Imran Khan completed his schooling from Aitchison College, Lahore and went to Royal Grammar School Worcester, England to pursue higher studies. He graduated in philosophy, politics and economics from Keble College, University of Oxford in 1975.
Hailing from a cricketing family of Pakistan team captains Javed Burki and Majid Khan, Imran Khan made his test debut in the 1971 English series in Birmingham and in One Day International (ODI) in 1974. After becoming captain in 1982, he led his team to its first Test victory against England at Lord’s after 28 years.
In 1992, Khan achieved his greatest athletic success by winning the country’s maiden World Cup title, defeating England in the final. He retired the same year, having secured a reputation as one of the greatest cricket players in history.
He entered politics in 1996 by setting up his own party ‘Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’ (PTI) as an initiative to eradicate mismanagement and corruption in the country. He contested the October 2002 elections and was elected as a Member of Parliament from Mianwali.
During the 2013 election campaign, Imran Khan launched the ‘Naya Pakistan Resolution’, posing a threat to the main Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and accused it of mass corruption and mismanagement.
In 2018 polls, the PTI emerged as the leading party with 158 seats and with the support of its allies, the tally stands at 175.
In the field of philanthropy, Imran Khan has established Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospitals and founded Namal College, an associate college of the University of Bradford.
The cricketer-turned philanthropist and a politician is now poised to turn the tide as a prime minister with his vision of a ‘New Pakistan’ that promises a just society, strong democracy and rule of law.